Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible to make images or take pictures of
animate beings, whether they are humans, birds or animals, except in cases
of necessity, such as pictures for identity documents, passports and the
like. There is no distinction, in this regard, between drawings and
photographs, because of the general meaning of the prohibition on
image-making and the condemnation of the one who does that. Please see the
answer to question no. 22660
Some scholars granted a concession allowing partial images or
those in which that is cut off without which survival would be impossible.
Others were of the view that what matters is the head: if the head remains
the image is forbidden. This is the more correct of the two opinions because
the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The image is
the head; if the head is cut off, there is no image.” Narrated by
al-Ismaa‘eeli in his Mu‘jam from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas; classed
as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 1921.
If the image is of a woman, and it is going to be published
in a magazine or newspaper or website, the sin is greater, because of what
that involves of spreading corruption and temptation. What is seen in many
chat rooms of pictures of women is something that saddens the believer.
Hence we appreciate your concern and your keenness to find
out what is permissible in this regard, and we ask Allah to guide and help
you and the sisters who are taking part in the chat room with you.
What we think is that you can allow the following types of
Pictures of the head and
hairstyles from behind or from the side, with the facial features blotted
Pictures of the eyes or mouth
or nose, in such a way that the pictures cannot be put together, by taking
them from different pictures.
Pictures of outfits minus the
head, or with the facial features blotted out completely.
And Allah knows best.